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What’s So Challenging About Changing Your Marketing?

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We’ve talked before about the Three Rs of Internet Marketing—to be real, relevant, and responsive. One way to be both real and relevant is with fact-based marketing. I spoke with someone who has consciously lowered the volume on his hype machine.

Floyd Marinescu, creator of successful software community sites infoq.com and theserverside.com, disputes the traditional marketing dictum to “sell the benefits, not the features.” Floyd says that he finds his software developer customers respond to the exact opposite approach—selling the features, not the benefits.

Floyd says that programmers perceive traditional marketing copy as spam: “When you sell the benefits, everyone’s product sounds the same.” He used copy that solicits registrants for a technical conference as an example:

  • Increase your skill
  • Network with others
  • Learn what you need for your job

Floyd’s point is that any conference can claim these benefits. He’d regularly rewrite this kind of copy to emphasis specific features—the speakers, the subjects, the precise technical information the customers were looking for: “No benefits. Just facts. Just features.” The marketers told Floyd that his copy was boring, but he says “the feature-oriented ones did better—20% better clickthrough rates.”

If you’re looking for a way to turn around your conversion rates, give fact-based marketing copy a try. Not only will the tone seem more real to your customers, but you’ll also be using more relevant words, which helps searchers find it in the first place.

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